Thursday, 20 September 2012

Rockhill Rendezvous 2012

I love to wander around the field at Rockhill Rendezvous and just take in the spectacle of a field of gathered Airstreams and their proud owners mingling and relaxing in the sunshine (and eating cake!) whilst I take in the sounds of chatting and laughing. The magic that I can't quite put my finger on is that a crowd of people who are simply brought together by a common love of their Airtsreams, who might not otherwise meet, and who might even drive each other crazy if they spent any more time together, can gather in a field for four days, find some common ground and have a merry old ding dong.

During this year's Rendezvous, two weeks ago, the days were seasoned with some organised excuses to get together. For example, a full-timers' forum which was well attended by Streamers who are currently living in their trailers as well as quite a few who are considering at least an extended trip. A polishing demo attracted vintage owners as well as interested new Airstream owners, and we had a 'meeting' during which it was reaffirmed that UK Airstreamers are not at all interested in forming a club with a committee and a bunch of boring old rules (phew! because I'm with Groucho on the subject of clubs). There was the ever-popular Open House where we all visit and admire each other's trailers and motorhomes. Unhitch and Stitch on the Sunday has become an annual haven of crafty, wooly chit-chat, during which I suspect that many of the other Airstreamers, who haven't had to leave yet, are having a nap.

But the idea is that all of this is optional, and people just dip in and out of the bits that appeal, in between simply visiting each other, going for walks, popping into Ludlow for a bit of food fair distraction, or just sunning themselves in their fold-up chairs. And, of course, there's a fair bit of technical know-how being exchanged too.

As far as the evenings go, there is something going on in the marquee each night, starting with a gentle get together on Thursday, building gradually through the Friday night Meet and Greet, to the Bring and Barby, a band and some dancing on Saturday. By Sunday night, it's time for a more ad hoc approach, one final barbecue, and a mellow night around the fire, for as long as you can keep your eyes open. There's music too. We had our Airstreaming folk duo, Shine, on Thursday, full-timer DJ Yossie on Friday and local band, The Cellar Boys on Saturday. And for a few lucky women (I don't think any men entered the free raffle), there were beauty treatments by Kerry of My Little Beauty.

I suppose I also have to mention the Vintage and Imported versus New European rounders match, which the Vintage blah blah blah team somehow managed to win for the second year. There, I've mentioned it.

Friendships are formed, the seeds of a winter ski trip were sown, new Airstreamers were welcomed and promised to return. Four days is probably enough, but there is still a feeling that we could just keep going and a handful of Streamers could be persuaded to stay on. Instead, we'll all just have to scatter, Airstreaming in our different ways and get back together with a treasury of new stories to share for next year.

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